The future of the beloved Boxing Day Test is in limbo as extreme heat caused by climate change begins to risk the safety of players.
Australia’s cricket board is investigating a “sustainability strategy” moving into 2020 after the Australian Conservation Foundation released a report that predicted a significant increase in “extreme” heat days in Melbourne over the coming decades.
According to the report, which cited information from the Monash Climate Change Communication Research Hub, said the Boxing Day Test match would “expose players and fans to unprecedented levels of extreme heat” if it continues to take place in its current schedule.
“Sport, particularly cricket, is vulnerable to extreme weather events,” ACF campaign director Paul Sinclair told SBS News.
“It’s really important that powerful voices in our community like Cricket Australia stand up for climate action that will protect players at elite and community levels and the players who love the game.”
Basically, the report claims that the number of 35C+ days in December will increase over the next 40-60 years, with the “shoulder months” of November and March also expecting to heat up and match the temperatures we’ve previously experienced in summer.
“If no effective climate mitigation action is taken, consideration should be given to moving the Melbourne Test to the shoulder season.”
I guess this means the firefighters won’t have anything to cheer for anymore, so maybe Scott Morrison can actually address the issue of climate change now that his precious cricket season is copping heat.
Hazardous smoke has already wreaked havoc on this year’s cricket season, with a Big Bash League match in Canberra being cancelled mid-game as a result of poor air quality from the hazardous bushfire smoke.
“We acknowledge we have a role to play and our executive team are currently in the process of proactively developing a strategy for sustainability,” Cricket Australia Communications and Stakeholder Engagement Chief Karina Keisler said.
“The strategy is in the early stages of development and significant progress will be made to bring this to life in 2020.”
Although this year’s Boxing Day test match only reached 23C, the temperature is expected to hit 41C by day five of the event on Monday.Image: AAP Images / Michael Dodge